A note here, as we're going to try and play with a few different things or maybe even try a new thing or two, this being one of those. I don't think we've done this before, and by no means is my opinion definitive on scoring, but hey, let's get all Sketches of Spain and experimental and examine the individual performances from Saturday's D.C. United win over the Montreal Impact. So let's see how this goes:
Bill Hamid - 7
Commanded his area well, one shot looked like a bit of a bobble, otherwise a solid return by the 2014 MLS Goal Keeper of the Year.
Chris Korb - 5.5
Was decent defensively though when he would come forward, you could sense the Impact flipping through the page in the Chris Korb book that talks about him crossing over to put the ball back onto his right foot for pass/cross/shot.
Bobby Boswell - 7
There was a moment in the game (and it happens on occasion depending on opponent) where Boswell gave a hard shoulder to Ignacio Piatti and knocked him off the ball. Nothing of a deliberate foul nature, and nothing of a persistent infringement nature, just a shoulder with a message to it. Stuff like that is why he's the best. That and the leadership and the great quotes.
Steve Birnbaum - 7
Maybe I just notice them more, but Birnbaum's stepping up to disrupt passes or attacks is a treat to watch, and he was doing it a bit today. Jack McInerney was not much of a factor today, to say nothing of being part of a three-header monster that ensured Piatti, Dilly Duka and Justin Mapp had little chance to cause danger.
Sean Franklin - 5.5
The anti-Korb of sorts. Started slow, was caught flat-footed by turning attackers in Jack McInerney and Dilly Duka early on in the first half, the latter happening on two separate occasions by my count. Tightened things up in the second half, and his moves forward were beneficial.
Chris Rolfe - 6.5
Made the final pass to Arrieta for the goal, led the team in shots, quietly did a bit of work today. He seemed to be a little out of sorts trying to set up one touch passes to Arnaud and DeLeon that tamped down what could have been a scoring chance, but no complaints otherwise.
Davy Arnaud - 7
Gave the same sort of "reminder" to Piatti defensively, came up and battled Nigel Reo-Coker and Callum Mallace when it called for it, sent an underrated and very nice ball to Rolfe which led to the Arrieta. Seriously, go watch that pass again. Welcome back, Davy Arnaud. Let's watch his pass as part of the goal, shall we?
Perry Kitchen - 6.5
Complemented Arnaud nicely, was content to let him do the work while he was positioned where he needed to and served as a security blanket of sorts. Short term it was nice to have Jake and Elwood back together, but longer term, it makes you wonder what Markus Halsti's role in the midfield is, as a slightly younger Arnaud or what exactly?
Nick DeLeon - 6.5
In between Wednesday night and Saturday, I continue to be quietly impressed with DeLeon's play. Passing accuracy continues to be sharp, and today found himself dribbling around more defenders than previously and getting into the middle, and was making nice off the ball runs late. Like most everyone else on the team, once he gets around the 18 it is like watching Kryptonite kick in, but I think if he approaches the last third like the previous one, it'll come.
Chris Pontius - 6
Compared to Wednesday, Pontius was better. He dropped into center a bit more today (perhaps a preview of things to come until any of Fabian Espindola, Luis Silva or Markus Halsti come in), and had his fair share of chances, second on the team in shots (to Rolfe) on the day. His shot off the crossbar which denied him a brace was one of the prettier attempts in recent memory, but when are we going to see him go 90?
Jairo Arrieta - 8
Guy was Fabi junior out there today. Scored the only goal, would have had the assist on Pontius' shot, was pressuring Impact players from pillar to pole today, starting from Laurent Ciman less than 20 minutes into the game. If there is a concern I have it is that if future opponents key on him, it is what is everyone else going to do, but the guy was a whirling dervish today.
Conor Doyle (Sub) - 4.5
Full marks for taking a ball of the mush and keeping the hair done in an almost Emre Can-like fashion, to say nothing of his goal line block of the tying goal. However, more of his passes seemed to be going to white jerseys until the second sub came in. Speaking of which...
Miguel Aguilar (Sub) - 5.5
Came on for Rolfe and was composed for the most part, despite the fact the Impact were trying to bear down and get the ball from him to counter. The stoppage time sequence where nobody could knock him off the ball was a bit of the sex.
Michael Farfan (Sub) - 5
Not much of an impact, coming in in the 89th minute for Arrieta.
Man of the Match
Figure it has got to be Arrieta, but a nod to Arnaud for a bit of a return to form.